Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007

Date:
April 7, 2008
Source:
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:
An independent scientific analysis gives the Chesapeake Bay (near Washington DC, US) a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy bay.

Chesapeake Bay health was given a C- for 2007. While better than last year, the report card's C-minus grade shows Bay conditions far from optimal.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

An independent scientific analysis led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researchers gives the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy Bay.

"The Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card shows conditions slightly improved last year, but there is nothing here from which we can take great comfort," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher and project leader Bill Dennison. "Data gathered from more than 150 monitoring sites throughout the Bay show us that the health of the Bay remains poor. We are not on the road to recovery."

Scientists note that the increase from a D-plus in 2006 to a C-minus in 2007 was highlighted by improved conditions in Maryland's Upper Western Shore (including the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers) and the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore. However, they also warn that those improvements may in part be due to the summer drought.

"The summer drought most certainly played a role in last year's health," said Dennison. "We had record low rainfall in many regions, which led to less nutrient and sediment pollution flowing into the Bay during the critical June to September timeframe."

The report card also allows scientists to compare conditions in various parts of the Bay over a number of years. This analysis provides insight into several important trends:

Overall, the annual amount of pollution reaching the Bay in 2007 was similar to average conditions observed over the last 17 years.

While scientists are optimistic about the resurgence of aquatic grasses in the Upper Bay, they remain concerned over recent losses in key nursery areas in the Lower Chesapeake.

Despite slightly clearer Bay waters in 2007, scientists remain concerned about the downward trajectory Bay water clarity has taken in many areas over past years. Cloudier waters hamper aquatic grasses and other life from thriving.

"These long term trends are disturbing. At best, we are only holding our own against population growth and development taking place throughout the Bay watershed," added Dennison.

"The scientifically-rigorous report card reinforces the notion that conditions across the bay vary from creek to creek and river to river," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Donald F. Boesch. "These local variations are a clarion call to Bay managers that targeting pollution reduction programs is critical to accelerating improvements in Bay health."

Data used in the Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card is collected across the entire Maryland and Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay by several state and federal agencies as part of the Chesapeake Bay monitoring program. Report card production is supported by Eco-Check, a NOAA-UMCES partnership.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm>.
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. (2008, April 7). Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins